The age-old adage that dogs rule and cats drool couldn’t be any further from the truth. Both species rule in their own unique ways, and as anyone who’s ever eaten food in front of a dog will tell you, most of the time you’ll find that pooch drooling at the sight of their meal. What we’re saying is this: dogs and cats are both adorable.

    For this exercise, though, we’ll be focusing on cats. You see, cats have been a huge part of pop culture for decades, and they enhance every movie, TV shows, comic book, novel, and video game that they’re featured in. Whether inadvertently luring people to their death, lazing around after a big plate of lasagne, or plotting world domination, cats have served a variety of purposes in entertainment throughout the years. It’s about time we celebrated that, and meow seems like as good a time as any.

    In honor of these fabulous felines, the TNC team has prepared the most definitive list of awesome pop culture cats that you’ll ever read.

    Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

    This trickster kitty spends his days planning practical jokes on those around him, using his unique ability to appear and disappear as he likes to his advantage. His playful nature and delightful grin make him very approachable, but his mischievous attitude should always keep you on your toes. Like most of the feline persuasion, he has the ability to offer assistance or make your life a living hell. Whether you get the former or the latter is completely out of your hands. – Chris Coffel

    Snowball II (The Simpsons)

    You can’t talk about America’s favorite family without talking about the adorable little furball that is Snowball II. Well, maybe you can. Snowball II doesn’t get a ton of attention and more often than not can just be seen in the background cuddling up with Santa’s Little Helper, but that doesn’t make her role in the family any less important. When she does pop up, it’s to provide love and comfort or play dress up with Lisa, and those sort of moments are priceless. – Chris Coffel

    Clovis (Sleepwalkers)

    Clovis may not manage to save his owner, Deputy Sheriff Andy Simpson, but he does “get the bad guy,” in the end, succeeding where all the other cops in Sleepwalkers fail and bringing Charles Brady and his mother to justice. It’s a lesson in don’t send a man do a cat’s job and Tanya owes her life to the feline. Now if only Clovis could’ve saved Witches of East End, the show where Mädchen Amick (who played Tanya) appeared as a witch with the power to transform into a cat. – Rachel Bellwoar

    The Catbus (My Neighbour Totoro)

    My Neighbour Totoro has a lot of weird and wonderful characters in it, but the Catbus has got to be one of the strangest. Part cat and part bus, the Catbus is a big, cosy mode of transport that you just want to snuggle down inside. With the ability to run over the countryside at an alarming rate, probably due to its multiple legs, the Catbus can take its passengers wherever they need to go, before seemingly disappearing into thin air. – Kim Morrison

    Bandit (The Office)

    In the American version of The Office, Bandit is the beloved cat of Angela. Angela is the head of the Accounting department at Dunder Mifflin, and her love for her cats (including her old cat Sprinkles) is evident by her many desk decorations. While Bandit doesn’t appear in the series too often, he is a crucial character in one of the funniest moments in the episode “Stress Relief”. When the office is set on fire, and the staff are trying to escape, Angela throws Bandit into the ceiling to apparent safety, only for him to crash through another ceiling tile moments later. – Kim Morrison

    The Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat)

    This one didn’t spring to mind immediately, probably because he looks less like a cat and more like a wily otter. (I’m talking about the original illustrations, not that weird Mike Myers thing). The Cat in the Hat is a treasured memory from my childhood, and an important cultural loon. Dr Seuss wrote his book as a more exciting literacy primer than the Dick and Jane books, which were frankly as captivating as a ham sandwich. Seuss’ penchant for delightful nonsense prevails, as the cat instils chaos in the family home. When that runs dry, out come the bendy blue-haired twins, Thing One and Thing Two! In a sudden, very un-cat-like twist, our stripy hero flies in on a magical cleaning machine and restores order just in time for mum to return home, none the wiser. Now you don’t see Dick and Jane doing that. – Katie Parsons

    Meowth (Pokémon)

    While Meowth is a species of Pokémon, the most famous example is also one third of the criminal trio Team Rocket in the Pokémon series. Cracking wise with a brooklyn accent, Meowth is — remarkably — the brains of the group and comes up with most of the technology and plans to catch that pesky electric mouse, Pikachu. Yes, they’re basically the Japanese Tom and Jerry. Although Meowth’s a villain, he’s still got a heart of gold — just as we saw in the first Pokémon movie, when Meowth and his clone were the first to realise that just because they were born differently, that didn’t mean they had to fight. So, in a lot of ways, aren’t Meowth and Team Rocket the true heroes? – Alex Winton

    Claude (Black Christmas)

    Some movie cats are full of evil intentions, and some, like Claude, cause the death of a lot of their housemates without really meaning to. In the original Black Christmas Claude is the housemother’s cat, and he’s basically an accomplice to the murderer. First, he lures Clare into her wardrobe when she thinks the rustling she hears in there is him. Spoiler — it isn’t! Then he ends up trapped in the attic with Clare’s dead body, which causes the housemother to head into the attic to investigate and also get murdered. You are pure evil Claude, whether you mean it or not! – Kim Morrison

    Azrael (The Smurfs)

    Every evil wizard should have a fearsome feline by his side. For Gargamel, the evil nemesis of the Smurfs, Azrael is his trusty sidekick. This cat is responsible for fettering out these little blue nuisances from their hiding places to Gargamel can eat them. Of course, I’m not personally saying that the Smurfs are nuisances, but I can see why an evil wizard might see them that way. Azrael takes great sadistic pleasure in hunting his prey; at the same time, he’s quite useless and clumsy. That’s adorable. A cat that’s rotten to the core while being simultaneously incompetent makes for a fascinating character. And the fact Azrael has been a pop culture cornerstone for so long gives him more credibility than most furry sidekicks. – Kieran Fisher

    Church (Pet Sematary)

    While he may start as a beloved family pet, Church quickly becomes one of the villains of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary when he is brought back to life by his unsuspecting owner. After being smooshed by a truck on the road outside the Creed house, Louis decides to bury him in the Micmac burial ground after some poor advice from his neighbour Jud, in order to spare his daughter Ellie’s feelings. “Sometimes, dead is better” has never been more accurate, as Church comes back to life but is a little bit wrong somehow, and takes great pleasures in torturing small animals and generally being creepy. When Louis also buries his dead son Gage in the burial ground, Church and Gage team up to murder Jud and Gage’s mother Rachael before being taken out by Louis by means of lethal injection. You wouldn’t think a tag team of a toddler and a cat would be terrifying, but Church is an excellent villain, and proof that terror can lurk in even the cutest of vessels. – Kim Morrison

    Simon’s Cat (Simon’s Cat)

    British animator Simon Tofield is hopefully extremely thankful that none of his four real cats are anything like his fictional creation in Simon’s Cat. Because, there’s no two ways to cut it: Simon’s Cat is a dick. The web series — originally created as an outlet for Tofield to learn how to use Adobe Flash — chronicles the misadventures of the titular cat as he generally destroys everything in Simon’s house and life. He doesn’t do any of this maliciously — he simply does it because he is a cat. As a servant of two cats, I find Simon’s Cat to probably be the most relatable of all the cats in this entire article. Whether it’s waking Simon up to get him out of bed just so Simon’s Cat can curl up in his place or demanding to have a door opened, only to steadfastly refuse to leave through it, these are the familiar tales of just how much we cat co-habitants will put up with for the occasional purring cuddle. – Alex Winton

    Boo (The Funky Phantom)

    There’s a lot of weird Hanna-Barbera cartoons out there, lurking in the shadows of more famous characters like Scooby Doo. One of these such shows is The Funky Phantom, about a ghost with a cat for a sidekick called Boo, which I used to watch before I went to school in the morning, though it only ran for 17 episodes. While it’s obviously sad that Boo died at some point to become a cute little hat-wearing ghost (he was trapped in a clock with his owner, which is pretty horrific), he uses his powers in the afterlife to help a group of teenagers solve mysteries. – Kim Morrison

    Fat Cat (Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescure Rangers)

    This chubby, pompous Tabby is a crime boss in the animal underworld with a taste for the finer things in life. When he’s not lounging around, enjoying his bougie lifestyle, he’s focused on creating fiendish plans to destroy the two things he hates — dogs and the Rescue Rangers. Despite almost always having the upper hand, Fat Cat is constantly foiled when his love for complex plans and his inherent laziness intersect causing his schemes to blow up in his face. -Chris Coffel

    Cat (Red Dwarf)

    I don’t like cats. They are rubbish. I have friends with cats and they are all dicks. So, when I was asked to talk about my favourite on screen cat, my answer was, “None, they are all rubbish”. But alas, no. You see, there is one cat I take great delight in seeing on my screen – Red Dwarf’s Cat. Played by Actor Danny John-Jules, Cat has been a mainstay in Red Dwarf adventures over three decades, 12 series and 67 episodes. He is exactly what I’d imagine a cat would be like if it became human – selfish, vein, not very bright, lazy, cowardly and probably a bit too blingy – but very good value for bringing out some Duane Dibbley, backwards toilet visits and goldfish bowl fishing! Overall, I suppose there is at least one cat that isn’t rubbish after all. – Jamie Glasgow

    Top Cat (Top Cat)

    With his purple pork pie hat and matching snazzy vest, he has more style than your average alley cat. He’s a smooth-talking charmer as well, so if you’re not careful you’ll get caught up in one of his tricks. While he typically focuses his talents on pulling one over on Officer Dibble, he’s not opposed to using his wisdom to trip of his own gang. -Chris Coffel

    The Cat With Hands (The Cat With Hands)

    Guillermo del Toro once described this short by Robert Morgan as “original and unsettling.” Del Toro’s opinions tend to be spot on most of the time, and he was 100% correct here. Morgan’s work is creepy in general, but this one is pure nightmare fuel. The story focuses on an old man telling a young boy an old folk tale about a cat that has human hands instead of paws. That premise sounds silly, but this cat does terrible things to everyone who comes into contact with it. I won’t spoil the sinister surprises as you can discover them for yourself. As far as horror shorts go, however, this is pretty purrfect. – Kieran

    Mr Bigglesworth (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery)

    Mr Bigglesworth starts his life as a beautiful white Persian cat, very befitting of the pet of an evil villain like Dr Evil. However, after being cryogenically frozen, Mr Bigglesworth ends up hairless, though still adorable. When Dr Evil gains his clone Mini-Me, Mr Bigglesworth also acquires a tiny clone, Mini-Mr Bigglesworth. Just don’t make Mr Bigglesworth upset, because when Mr Bigglesworth is upset, people die! – Kim Morrison

    Mr. Tinkles (Cats and Dogs)

    No movie has encapsulated the intense rivalry between felines and man’s best friend as powerfully as Cats and Dogs. While I found myself rooting for the dogs, I couldn’t help but admire the villainous Mr. Tinkles and his ambitious plans to take over the world. On the outside, he’s an adorable ball of fur that you just want to cuddle and treat to saucers of milk. On the inside, though, he’s a problematic pussy and the embodiment of pure evil. Cats and Dogs is the James Bond of animal secret agent movies, and Mr. Tinkles is as strong a villain as any of 007’s fiercest adversaries. – Kieran Fisher

    Gumball (The Amazing World of Gumball)

    Gumball is the star of The Amazing World of Gumball, which is one of those shows that’s on Cartoon Network but most of the time doesn’t seem like it’s appropriate for children. Gumball and his mother are both blue cats, while his father and sister are pink rabbits. Oh, and he also has an adopted brother who’s a goldfish. We follow Gumball and his questionable decisions as he navigates high school and tries to get close to the girl he fancies, who just so happens to be a giant peanut with antlers. – Kim Morrison

    Thomas O’Malley (The Aristocats)

    Thomas O’Malley, full name Abraham DeLacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley, is everything Top Cat wishes he could be. Yeah, he doesn’t have the fancy clothes, but he’s the smoothest of smooth talkers and the wisest of the streetwise. Plus he’s one handsome fellow. Thomas relishes his independence and lives a carefree life, hopping from one alley to the next. His life is turned upside down when he meets the ultra-domesticated Duchess and instantly falls for her. Upon learning she has kittens he is a little put-off, but quickly learns to love the little rascals and take them in as his own. – Chris Coffel

    Edmond (Rock-a-Doodle)

    Rock-a-Doodle sees a young boy called Edmond being turned from a live-action child into a cartoon and a cat at the same time. Edmond has a storybook about a rooster named Chanticleer, who after thinking the sun can rise without him flees to the big city and leaves his farm behind. Unfortunately, the sun does need Chanticleer to rise, and as a result, a pack of evil owls takes over the land. When the characters from Edmond’s book comes to life, it’s the head owl Duke who turns Edmond into a kitten, so he’s easier to eat! Edmond and a group of animals from the farm head to the big city to bring back Chanticleer, raise the sun again, and get rid of those pesky owls forever. Edmond risks his life multiples to save his pals, and his family back in the real world where the darkness also seems to be taking over, which is pretty impressive for a tiny kitten. – Kim Morrison

    Chewie (Captain Marvel)

    While Chewie (renamed Goose in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) might look like an adorable housecat, her appearance is deceiving. You see, Chewie is actually an alien Flerken, which means she’s more intelligent and fiercer than your average domesticated feline. She can store materials in her mouth — from weapons to tentacles — and has the ability to teleport through dimensions, time, and space. Oh, and she can also reproduce up to 117 Flerken kittens at a time simply by laying eggs. You don’t want to mess with this adorable ball of fur. – Kieran Fisher

    Crookshanks (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

    While Crookshanks didn’t get the best treatment in the movies, in the books, he is a much more pivotal character. First of all, he’s pretty aware that Scabbers is actually Peter Pettigrew in disguise, and takes every chance he can get to munch him. He also aids Sirius Black’s efforts to break into Hogwarts and clear his name as well as helping set up everything that happens in the Shrieking Shack. Let’s face it; he’s pretty much the smartest character throughout the entire book! – Kim Morrison

    Drummer (Kiss)

    A band is only as good as its drummer, many say, and the humanoid cat behind the skins for legendary rock band Kiss is a fine percussionist, indeed. The Catman has always been brave enough to share the concert stage with a demon, a spaceman, and a lover (a retired bandit, at that), helping to spread the glory of feline power as he rises high above the stage, sometimes surrounded by giant cat statues with glowing eyes. He and his bandmates have graced album covers, magazine covers, action figures, t-shirts, and paraphernalia galore. His scratchy singing style is renowned, and although astute fans may have noticed a difference in height, weight, and other physical features over the years — with some going so far as to spread a rumor that the Catman is merely a character played by — Gasp! — different humans, the enlightened believe that this rock and rolling feline transcends such fabrications. Armed with sticks, kicks, and a bag of tricks, Kiss’s Catman has been an inspiration to generations of fans. – Joseph Perry

    Princess Carolyn (Bojack Horseman)

    Princess Carolyn is arguably the most interesting cat on this list in terms of life experience. She’s career-focused and that’s admirable. On top of that, she gets to work alongside some very famous people and fellow anthropomorphic animals as part of her job as an agent to the stars. That said, her misfortunes in the dating department have been upsetting to watch at times. Especially when she dated a child pretending to be an adult. Even my own dating woes haven’t been that bad. – Kieran Fisher

    Jonesy (Alien)

    Jonesy is the quintessential sci-fi cat and it looks as if Captain Marvel clearly took some influence from him. He’s everything you want out of a cat in a genre film because he’s smart and self-sufficient. The crew on board the Nostromo weren’t smart enough to hide when things turned south, but Jonesy was. If you take the whole franchise into consideration, he’s even the only survivor of the original film. – Nat Brehmer

    Salem (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)

    Apparently being cursed to live as a cat is the worst thing people can think of, and that’s precisely what happens to Salem when he annoys the Witch’s Council trying to take over the world. Salem is sent to live with Sabrina’s aunt Hilda as she was a minor part of his revolution and acts as Sabrina’s somewhat snarky familiar as she navigates her way through a life of witchcraft. He is one of the most relatable cats out there, as he frequently does things like eating his feelings and dishes out sarcasm wherever possible. – Kim Morrison

    Binx (Hocus Pocus)

    In another case of someone being cursed to life as a cat, Binx ends up spending hundreds of years as a cat after Winifred Sanderson curses him trying to meddle in a spell the three Sanderson witches were performing on his little sister Emily, which ultimately kills her. Binx is destined to a life of immortality and is forced to live with the guilt of not being able to save his sister as he guards the Sandersons’ cottage to prevent anyone else from awakening the witches. While he fails in this task when Max and his little sister Dani visit the cottage, he does use his immortality to his advantage and fights fearlessly to protect Dani as he wasn’t able to save Emily before her. Binx is brave, has a smart mouth, and isn’t afraid to get run over by a bus to save his friends. And while Dani may have preferred he remain a cat and live with her, it’s heartwarming to see him finally get his happy ending and escape his feline curse. – Kim Morrison

    Sylvester (Loony Tunes)

    Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. is the biggest loser and winner from the Looney Tunes universe. In nearly every one of his appearances, he plays the role of antagonist, a role he occupies in large part due to his penchant for getting into trouble. Sylvester, like most cats, is a smart fellow and knows right from wrong. He knows that he shouldn’t eat Tweety, because much like himself Tweety is a fellow pet, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. And despite the fact that he constantly fails, he continues to try, because once again like most cats, he’s very prideful. On the other end of the spectrum, he gets to lay claim as the Looney Tunes biggest winner because he has starred in three Academy Award-winning cartoons, something no other Looney Tune has matched to date. Sylvester may never catch that golden bird, but he more than makes up for it by catching them golden statues. – Chris Coffel

    Scratchy (The Simpsons)

    A more violent incarnation of Tom and Jerry, Scratchy is the cat counterpart of Itchy, the most famous cartoon characters in The Simpsons universe. It’s unclear why this pair are enemies when they seem to live in a world populated by other anthropomorphic animals, but most of their encounters usually end up with Scratchy being straight up murdered. My favourite Scratchy moment is where he doesn’t realise his eyes have been replaced with tiny bombs until he tries to brush his hair in the mirror and somehow notices the mistake right before they explode. While the pair occasionally team up to defeat common enemies, we never get to see Scratchy get one over on Itchy due to some geeks unplugging the TV so they could use their rock tumbler. – Kim Morrison

    Tom (Tom and Jerry)

    In pop culture, cats are often portrayed as incompetent morons. At least they are when they’re pitted in rivalries against other creatures, like mice and dogs. The most famous example is, of course, Tom. He spends most episodes being outsmarted by a thieving mouse and avoiding an angry bulldog. Usually, Tom suffer humiliation and pain as a result. Here’s the thing, though: Tom has never been the bad guy. Jerry is in Tom’s house, eating his cheese, causing mayhem. Who can blame Tom for wanting to put a stop to the little rodent bastard? I love Jerry as well, but Tom had valid reasons for wanting to eradicate the vermin. – Kieran Fisher

    Garfield (Garfield)

    Since the very first comic strip published in 1978, Garfield has firmly planted himself in the very fabric of pop culture. Probably the definitive caricature of a pet cat, to the point where there’s barely a human being alive that couldn’t tell you he sleeps a lot, hates Mondays and loves lasagne. As well as being the victim of several terrible CGI movies — which surely must have involved someone holding Bill Murray at gun-point to get him to make two of them — there have also been several cartoons and games starring the most famous ginger tabby cat this side of Captain Marvel. Most amazing of all, though, might be the fact that the comic strip is still going at Garfield.com with new strips every single day. It’s actually a little comforting to know that long after the heat death of the universe, Garfield will somehow surely still live on. – Alex Winton

    TNC Staff
    We post multi-author articles and news.

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